Ecology- the scientific study of interactions between organisms and their environments, focusing on energy transfer It is a science of relationships.
Definition: All external conditions and factors (living and nonliving) that affect an organism or other specified system during its lifetime
The environment is made up of two factors:Biotic factors- all living organisms inhabiting the Earth ex. How organisms interact/effect each otherAbiotic factors- nonliving parts of the environment temperature Soil Sunlight water/moisture air currents/wind Severe disturbances
Temperature 0-50oC is the narrow range of temperatures that can support life Too hot: above 50…important enzymes DENATURE Too cold: metabolism slows down…what is metabolism? (review notes from beginning of year!) Set of chemical reactions that help break down and build up molecules to get energy for life Organisms have made adaptations to extreme environments Prokaryotes in deep sea vents (extreme heat) Prokaryotes in frigid arctic waters (extreme cold)
Product of abiotic forces (ice, rain, and wind) and biotic forces (microorganisms, plants, and earthworms) on rocks and minerals of Earth‟s crust Effects plants that grow in areas Dry, nutrient poor soil dominated by blue stem grasses with long roots to obtain scarce moisture in soil and narrow leaves that prevent excessive water loss Soil/sand in aquatic environments also impacts ecosystem Soil can be acidic or basic, nutrient rich or nutrient poor This influences plants that grow in area, which influence organisms that live there
Energy source for ALL organisms (except chemosynthetic organisms) Terrestrial and aquatic Penetrates top 200 m of the surface…affects algae Forests trees prevent sunlight from reaching the bottom…varying amounts of sunlight creates microhabitats…what does that mean? Habitat with conditions different from the larger surrounding environment PHOTOSYNTHESIS
Dissolves gasses Universal solvent Organisms make adaptations to prevent water loss (needles instead of leaves on trees and a waxy cuticle)
Affects distribution Moves clouds which carry precipitation Stirs up water which mixes up the nutrients in lakes and streams Spreads pollen and seeds of plants
Fires, hurricanes, droughts. Floods and volcanic eruptions Some occur frequently and organisms have made evolutionary adaptations (prairie grasses) Some are infrequent (volcanic eruptions) and organisms have no voluntary adaptations
BiosphereEcosystem Community Population Organism
Organism- any unicellular ormulticellular form exhibiting all of thecharacteristics of life, an individual.•The lowest level of organization
Population-a group of organisms ofone species living in the same placeat the same time that interbreedand compete with each other forresources (ex. food, mates, shelter)
Community- several interactingpopulations that inhabit a commonenvironment and are interdependent.
Ecosystem- populations in acommunity and the abiotic factorswith which they interact (ex.marine, terrestrial)
Biosphere- life supporting portionsof Earth composed of air, land,fresh water, and salt water.•The highest level of organization
“The ecological niche of an organism depends not only on where it lives but also on what it does. By analogy, it may be said that the habitat is the organisms „address‟, and the niche is its „profession‟, biologically speaking.”Odum - Fundamentals of Ecology
Habitat vs. NicheNiche - the role a species plays ina community (job)Habitat- the place in which anorganism lives out its life(address)
Habitat vs. NicheA niche is determined by thetolerance limitations of anorganism, or a limiting factor.Limiting factor- any biotic orabiotic factor that restricts theexistence of organisms in aspecific environment.
Habitat vs. NicheExamples of limiting factors- •Amount of water •Amount of food •Temperature
Earth rotates on an axis (23.5’) So sunlight hits Earth at different angles Creates Climate Zones Tropics Region between Tropic of Cancer (23.5’N) and Tropic of Capricorn (23.5’S) Most direct sunlight Temperate Zones Latitudes between the Tropics and the Polar Zones Seasonal changes; no extreme heat or cold Polar Zones Region north of the Arctic Circle (66.5’N) and South of the Antarctic Circle (66.5’S) Least amount of direct sunlight These climate zones are important and create BIOMES
Our planets rotation produces a force on all bodies moving relative to the Earth Due to Earths approximately spherical shape, this force is greatest at the poles and least at the Equator. "Coriolis effect” the force that causes the direction of winds and ocean currents to be deflected Northern Hemisphere wind and currents deflected toward the right Southern Hemisphere wind and currents deflected to the left.
Weather Day-to-day conditions of Earths atmosphere precipitation, humidity, temperature, etc. Changes every day Climate The average, year-after-year, conditions (temperature and precipitation) that prevail in a specific region Microclimate Climate in a specific area that varies from the surrounding climate region Ex. The burrow of a Kangaroo rat in the New Mexico desert (dark and cool)